April 21-22 weekend will see the kickoff of a season of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association, Inc. (GHTA Inc.), an association of 9 member clubs stewarding a 500 km trail stretching from Port Hope (Lake Ontario) at the southern terminus, to Devil’s Glen near Glen Huron, (just south of Blue Mountains) at the western terminus.

The trail winds through rolling farmlands and woods, follows quiet country roads and small towns and villages, and even traverses a city (Orillia). The Wilderness section of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail, is unique and passes through the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. Including branch trails, the total length of the trail is in excess of 500 kilometres, used for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, thanks to the generosity of landowners who have given permission to cross their land.
The Association will be 50 years old as of April 21, 2018, and the first of the celebratory events will be a public hike offered by the member clubs on Saturday, April 21, or Sunday, April 22 (see the bottom of this article for Details of GHTA Local Club Hikes).


The Oro-Medonte Ganaraska hiking club is hosting a moderate 2 hour hike in the scenic Copeland Forest. Meet at 1:30 PM at the P2 Copeland Parking lot on Ingram Road, just east of Oro-Medonte Line 4 N. Contact Bob 705-728-8985 or Christine 705-733-3825

The Kawartha Ganaraska hiking club is hosting a number of hikes on the Stoney Lake Trails, ranging from easy to moderate (4, 6 or 9 km). Bring lunch/snacks & water. Meet at 9:15 AM at the Riverview Park & Zoo for carpooling to the start of the hike. Contact Tony 705-755-0815.

The Orillia Ganaraska hiking club is hosting 2 hikes at Scout Valley. Meet at 10 AM at the Scout valley Regan House parking lot on Line 15. For the easy hike, contact Sharon 705-327-7611.
For the moderate hike, contact Paul 705-325-6001. Wear sturdy footwear, carry water.

The Pine Ridge Ganaraska hiking club is hosting a 6 km easy hike. Meet at 10 AM at the Port Hope Town Hall, for the hike and the ceremonial dipping of water from Lake Ontario for the first of the Water Relay hikes across the 500 km long Ganaraska Hiking trail. Contact Stan 905-885-9310.

The Wilderness Ganaraska hiking club is hosting 2 hikes in the Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands Provincial Park. Hiking boots are recommended. Bring lunch/snacks and water. Meet at 8:30 AM at the Devil’s Lake parking lot.
• A moderate 8 km hike from Devil’s Lake to Sheldon Lake and return. Contact Glynn at
• A much more challenging 19 km hike from Devil’s Lake to Moore’s Falls. Duration 7 to 8 hours. The terrain is rugged and varies. Hiking boots recommended. Contact Robert 705-345-7155.

The Wasaga Beach hiking club is hosting a 6.8 km hike of the Schoonertown Loop. Meet at Schoonertown Parkette (corner of Oxbow Park Dr., and River Rd. West) at 10 a.m. (1 ½ – 2 hours). Contact Irene – 705 352 1060.

The Midland Ganaraska hiking club is hosting an easy 8 km hike in the Tiny Marsh. Meet at 1 PM in front of the Tiny Marsh Visitor Centre, on the Tiny/Springwater Townline. Contact Marc 705-527-1967.

The Barrie Ganaraska hiking club is hosting 2 hikes in the Copeland Forest:
• Easy 2-3 hour hike on mostly flat terrain. Meet at 10 AM at the P2 parking lot on Ingram Road, just east of Oro-Medonte Line 4 N. Contact Brian 705-728-5718
• Moderate 4 hour hike on hilly terrain. Meet at 9:30 AM at the P2 parking lot on Ingram Road, just east of Oro-Medonte Line 4 N. Contact John 705-715-6994

Trail Reroute For Barrie Section

Barrie – February 2018 – GHTA Map21, SCF Museum Tract Reroute

From: John Sloan

The reason for this change is the Simcoe County Forest restoration project in the Museum Tract. Currently trees have been removed from the decommissioned gravel pit just south of the Museum (where the Ganaraska Trail now runs). Over the next couple of years there will be controlled burns and extensive replanting in this area. When all the work it done and the area stable and safe for use again we can revisit the trail route if needed. Details of the restoration project can be found at the following website.
> Thanks to Jeff Haglund and Bob Murrell for mapping out the new route.

GHTA – Wilderness Club on Facebook

Check out the recent Wilderness Club hikes on  Facebook.

GHTA Wilderness Club hike: Winter lunch on Scrabble Mountain

The turn out for yesterday’s, “Winter lunch on Scrabble Mountain” hike was slim, but understandable. However, I did get to meet and hike with a Facebook friend which is always great. Had a lot of fun Robert Campbell, Margaret O’Dell and Wendy Manning!

All week rain was the forecast for yesterday’s hike. Even during the hike, rain was still the forecast, and yet there was ZERO precipitation the entire day. We even saw the sun for a while.

Trip points of interest:

– Some water levels were high; most were low. A few blown out beaver dams. Fairy Pond has been reduced to a beaver meadow with a small creek running through it.

– Came across a boat on the trail, far from any water, with two parking tickets. If anyone knows the story behind this I’d be interested to hear about it.

– Ran into a high school outdoor club who were out for a few days of winter camping. Looked like they were having fun!

– Discovered a miniature Pachycephalosaurus dinosaur along the trail. Good eye, Wendy!The only downside of the trip was that we didn’t bring Flying Carpet mats to slide down some of the hills.

Mad River has a new President

Hello, all,

To continue the good news, in recent weeks, following a meeting of interested parties including Frieda, Mike Robertson has been elected as the new President for the Mad River section of the GHTA. Mike is enthusiastically looking forward to plotting out the refurbishment of the trail and regeneration of the Club.

Please welcome Mike.

Carol Strickland,
On behalf of the GHTA Inc. Executive.

New Trails and Landowner Relations Director

We are thrilled to appoint John Sloan as our new Trails and Landowner Relations Director. John comes with an excellent background. He has been a member of the Ganaraska Hiking Trail Association since 2011 and is President of the GHTA Barrie Club. He is a member of the Bruce Trail Conservancy and Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies (where he holds the volunteer positions of Chief Hike Leader and Ambassador). He has completed the Hike Ontario “Certified Hike Leader” course and Red Cross “Wilderness First Aid” training. John and his wife Susan have lived in Oro-Medonte since late 2015.

Attached is a photo of John.

According to our bylaws, John also becomes a member of the executive.

Please welcome John.

Carol Strickland,
On behalf of the Executive, GHTA Inc.


Thanks to generous ongoing contributions from our membership, the Township of Oro-Medonte and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, we have contracted a local businessman to maintain the parking lot at P2 (south side of Ingram Road just east of the 4th line), throughout the winter months, beginning December 1st, 2017 and ending March 31, 2018. This year, the lot will be maintained as often as required (not just weekends), once the snow exceeds 4 inches.

The lot was cleared on December 8th and is open to all users this winter. Please remember not to park on Township roads during the winter as you may get a ticket. This parking lot provides access to a wide range of outdoor options within the Copeland Forest. Enjoy!

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit launches tick surveillance program

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has launched an active tick surveillance program to track the prevalence of Lyme disease bacteria in our area. However, Lori Holmes, the unit’s program co-ordinator of health hazards and vector borne disease, advises Simcoe Muskoka is not considered high risk for Lyme exposure.